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updated: 5/30/2014 10:00 AM

White now longest-serving Ill. Secretary of State

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  • Jesse White

      Jesse White

 
Associated Press

Secretary of State Jesse White has set a record as Illinois' longest-serving secretary of state.

The 79-year-old White claimed that milestone Friday, when he surpassed the tenure of James A. Rose, who served from 1897 to 1912.

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White has served since his first inauguration in January 1999.

White says he's proud of honoring a pledge to not use the Secretary of State's office as a stepping stone to higher office. The Democrat has won five terms in office, often by wide margins.

He'll be 80 on June 23.

White's office oversees more than 3,500 employees. He's credited with helping crack down on intoxicated drivers and advocating for safe-driving legislation.

He's also the founder of the Jesse White Tumbling Team for children residing in Chicago's housing projects.

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